Getting to Know the Blackboard Interface

The first step to taking an online course is understanding how the Blackboard Interface is organized.

Topics at a Glance

Topic What’s Covered
Tab Area This area contains the system’s universal navigation including links to your courses, your organizations, the myUALR dashboard, and help resources.
Blackboard Breadcrumbs Easily located where you are and where you have been in the system using Blackboard’s breadcrumb feature.
myCourses In this area you will find links to your Blackboard courses and course related announcements.
Notifications This is the page where you can get updates about your courses including new content and upcoming due dates.
Blackboard Modules Modules are one of the main features of the Blackboard 9.1 system and allow for a variety of customizations to the Blackboard interface.

The Tab Area

Watch: Tabs
Learn what tabs contain.

The first step to taking an online course is understanding how the Blackboard interface is organized. Depending on what link you use to login to the system, you will land on either the myBlackboard dashboard or the myUALR dashboard.

Regardless of which dashboard you land on, at the top of the page you will see the main navigation for the myUALR system.

main tab navigation for the Blackboard system

  • myBlackboard — This tab links to the myCourses and Notifications subtabs. The myCourses subtab is your main access point for all of your online courses. The Notifications subtab is where you will find alerts about your courses including new content that has been added and assignments or exams that will be due soon.
  • myUALR— the myUALR dashboard is designed to give students access to a variety of UALR systems including UALR email, Blackboard and BOSS—all using a single login.
  • myCommunities— Similar the myCourses subtab, here you will find information about and links to your UALR organizations.
  • Help — This tab has important support information about Blackboard including contact information, system requirements, and software downloads.
Important Note:

Blackboard Sub-Tabs
Sub-tabs are used as a way to organize common pages. For instance, the myBlackboard tab has sub-tabs for myCourses, your primary access into your courses, Notifications, which contains all of your course alert modules, and Ottenheimer Library, which contains circulation information and other helpful library resources. Be sure to check to see what sub-tabs are available because they likely have useful tools or information on them.

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Blackboard Breadcrumbs

Like Hansel and Gretel, Blackboard puts down breadcrumbs to help you find your way back through the course. You can easily backtrack by clicking the appropriate level you wish to return. This saves the need to weave through the navigation bar.

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On this page, you will see several boxes, or modules, where you can access tools and information. These modules help put the most important tools at your fingertips. You will notice that the other tabs—myUALR, myCommunities, and Help—also contain modules.

The default modules on the myCourses subtab include:

  • My Announcements — Contains system and course announcements to help keep students informed about their courses and Blackboard system updates or outages.
  • Blackboard 9.1 Courses — Contains your list of Blackboard courses.
  • UALR Academic Schedule — Shows all upcoming events on the UALR Academic calendar.

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Watch: Notifications
What are notifications and how do they work?

The Notifications dashboard contains modules that provide you with information about updates to your courses and organizations. This is where you will go to find out what new content has been added to a course or organization; what is due today, tomorrow, this week or in the future; and what upcoming tasks need to be completed.

Modules on the Notifications dashboard can be personalized. For more information about personalizing the look and layout of the Notifications dashboard, please see the section below on Blackboard Modules

  • To Do — This is where you can find the status (what’s due and past due) of course work for your classes and organizations. A nifty tool to keep track of what and when things are due in your courses.
  • What’s New — Displays a list of new items (discussion posts, exams, content, etc.) in all of your courses and organizations.
  • My Tasks — Consider this another type of “to do” list. This is a place for you and your instructors to organize projects, set task priorities, and track the completion status of various items.

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Blackboard Modules

Watch: Modules
Access, add and remove, and change the color schemes for your modules.

On the myBlackboard Notifications dashboard, you can arrange the modules on the page by dragging and dropping them into place. Some modules, like those on the myUALR tab, are locked in place and cannot be rearranged.

Adding and Removing Blackboard Modules

Select which modules to display by clicking Add Module button in the action bar at the top of the content area.

Browse for a module by category or search by keyword. Click Add for the module(s) you want to display. Click Remove for the modules you don’t want to display.

Editing Blackboard Modules

The icons within the title bar of the modules allow you to modify the modules themselves. Clicking an icon will allow you to edit the module as indicated in the table below.

Edit Module Icons
Minimizes the module so that only the title bar appears. Minimizing a module allows more room for the display of other information within surrounding modules.
Opens the module in a separate window. This allows you to keep that module in view while being able to navigate elsewhere in Blackboard.
Change the options of the module such as showing Calendar events for a week instead of a month. Not all modules have options that can be changed. Click Submit to save any changes.
Remove the module from the page. Removing a module from a page does not delete the module, but it does allows more room for the placement of other, possibly more relevant modules.

Editing the Module Color Scheme

To change the color scheme for the modules on a certain page, click Personalize Page.

Click the button next to the color scheme you like. Once you’ve made your selection, click Submit to save your color scheme.

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